Governor signs bill outlawing child-like sex dolls
Lauren Book.

book 2
Violation of the law is a third-degree felony

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday a measure outlawing the sale or possession of child-like sex dolls that lawmakers argue promote sexual urges among pedophiles.

However, some groups have argued just the opposite, saying those dolls can help prevent pedophiles from acting on those urges with actual children.

The legislation (SB 160) was sponsored by Sen. Lauren Book and was unanimously approved by both houses of the Legislature. Rep. Michael Gottlieb filed a companion measure in the House (HB 1107).

“A person may not knowingly sell, lend, give away, distribute, transmit, show, or transmute … an obscene, child-like sex doll,” the legislation says.

Violation of the law is a third-degree felony, with subsequent violations being deemed second-degree felonies.

Groups such as the Prostasia Foundation, which identifies itself as a child sexual abuse prevention group, have spoken out against the legislation, arguing it will endanger children.

“If we surveyed victims of childhood sexual abuse, I wonder how many would say they WISHED their abusers had a sex doll who might have taken their place?,” asked Dr. James Cantor, who advises the group.

But Book has countered that claim in advocating for the bill. She once again made the case following the Governor’s signing of the legislation.

“These are anatomically correct, lifelike silicone dolls that are eerily similar to real human children made for the sole purpose of sexual gratification,” Book said.

“Just as viewing child pornography lowers the inhibitions of child predators, so do these childlike sex dolls that have no place in the state of Florida. We want to make our state as unfriendly to child predators as possible.”

Book, who is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, says she learned of the dolls through her work with Lauren’s Kids. That foundation was started by Book and offers help to abuse victims.

A December report from CBC details at least 42 such dolls being seized at the Canadian border in the previous two years. The sex dolls possess “child-like dimensions and features,” according to the piece.

And a few months earlier in Kentucky, officials attempted to arrest and charge a man who had purchased similar dolls from China. While law enforcement argued possession of the dolls was akin to possession of child pornography, a judge dismissed all charges against the man.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


7 comments

  • M Delray

    May 24, 2019 at 11:25 am

    Much better article than your previous ones on this bill. It’s important to note that the author of the research Sn. Book is citing disagrees with her claim she arrived at from his study. I contacted the author myself and he said his study is not applicable and does not provide evidence that “Child-like sex doll” will increase recitative rates of sex offenders, more research needs to be done in this area. How can laws be passed without providing sufficient evidence to back the claim?

  • Mocha Jones

    May 25, 2019 at 12:23 am

    If child sex dolls cause child molestation, then the following question should be easy to answer:

    Of those 42 people found to have child sex dolls, how many were charged with molesting an actual child?

    The article doesn’t mention, so I assume it’s probably nil. Which would seem to be a strike against Book’s unevidenced assertion.

    • M Delray

      May 25, 2019 at 11:22 am

      Keep in mind the 42 confiscated dolls were in Canada the same country the 2008 study was conducted that Sn. Book cites as a reason for authoring the bill. Child pornography laws are much different there than here in the US. The man in Kentucky did not have any cp on his computer nor did any victims come forward. If anyone in the state of FL is arrested for having a “child like sex doll” any lawyer fresh out of law school will destroy this law in court.

  • Lisa Jones

    May 25, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Thank you for bringing this information to light. I agree with banning these child like sex dolls. Only a pedophile could argue it can be of good.

    • M Delray

      May 25, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      Lisa, you’re incorrect about saying only a pedophile would argue it can be of good. Dr. Cantor as well as other prominent psychologist and sex experts disagree with such laws, I suggest you research Canton’s work. Regardless, this law was passed without providing evidence to back the claims Sn. Book has made. There is no research available as this is uncharted territory in the fields of psychology/sociology. Should laws be created and passed without providing sufficient evidence or just because someone thinks it’s a good idea? Even if a pedophile thought “child like sex dolls” can be of good wouldn’t they be the ones to know best what would keep them from abusing a child?

  • John Smith

    May 29, 2019 at 3:53 am

    This seems unfair to adults who look prepubescent because of growth disorders and similar things, what if they wanted to make a sex doll based off of themselves?

  • This_is_nuts

    June 5, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    Logic has officially left the legal system if it has decided that INANIMATE OBJECTS are to be equal to a human being and treated accordingly. I haven’t seen such mob-influenced foolishness since the era where Christians were claiming that playing Dungeons and Dragons was turning their children into wizards.

    Can you haul someone in on charges of assault when they threw darts at a doll made to look like a coworker he or she disliked, based on the same ‘reasoning’ as “a doll that looks too much like a child is legally a child if you poke it in the butt”? Or perhaps “child endangerment” if you put it in the cargo section of a U-haul instead of buckle it into the passenger seat?

    Suffice it to say I find it decidedly NOT surprising that this law originates in…Florida.

Comments are closed.


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